Wednesday, June 27, 2012

She's home! Finally

I finally got her home, safe and snug in the hangar.  Yesterday I recruited my friend to join me on an all day mission to go fetch her in Arizona.  We are in the same flying club but unfortunately, this time the 182RG was not available, and so we decided to make the nearly 600 mile trip in the venerable 172...

Great trainer, fun to fly, but slooooooow.  We set out at just after 7:30AM and with little to no wind we were getting along at about 105-115 kts over the ground.  Stopped for fuel at APV about 3 hours later, and made the mistake of not getting food despite a waitress that looked like Angelina Jolie's doppelganger.  Another 3 hour leg to Scottsdale which was bumpy and the little bird struggled to hold 9500 ft.

We arrived and my plane was in the hangar waiting for me.

I was happy to see they had carefully washed it, even oiled and cleaned the wheels.  Note to shops, that stuff makes a difference!  When someone drops a lot of money in your shop, hand them back a clean plane!  E.A.M. rocks.  The installation job is top notch.  I hopped in and the protective plastic was still on there, my fingers would be the first to smudge those beautiful screens.  :)

I'm really happy I replaced my G600, the new unit has an updated software system and I noticed some subtle differences, and more importantly the knobs are more crisp and the buttons snappy and new.  I peeled off the plastic and set out for a test flight with one of the techs.  Of course, there were some squawks.  The sidetone was too loud, the system called out traffic warnings when we on the ground, and a few other niggling things.  Oh yeah, and the pilot headset jack was inop.  I flew the plane up to Prescott to shoot an approach and the tech took notes.

 Tested out the XM music, the autopilot, the radar, and everything else.  It was pretty much spot on, other than the items noted.  Unfortunately at this point it was too late in the day to get all the stuff adjusted so they gave me a crew car and I hit the Thunderbird Suites for the night.  That turned out to be a good call because I had already flown 7.5 hours that day and was tired.  Bonus was Russ Demeray and his wife Pam came down from Sedona to meet me for dinner and showed me an awesome nearby restaurant with food right up my alley.

Did I mention Arizona has beautiful women and amazing sunsets?  The next morning I got everything sorted with the plane, wrote the big check, and flew her home.  Wow, what a difference in speed, comfort, power and style over the flight out in the 172.  Poor Rick had a long 7 hour flight home in the 172 the day before while I stayed over night, thanks Rick!  My return trip was awesome, my plane is now very seriously bad ass.  The new one piece panel makes a huge difference in terms of the modern feel, it doesn't vibrate at all.  Rock solid!  Here I am hauling ass over the desert at 185 kts on 22 gph.

Made it home in under 3 hours, that's more like it!  But I did have enough time to play with my new toys...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lit up

Here she is, all lit up.  The glove box is painted and all the work is done, except the most painful part which is writing the check.  Wow I can't wait.  Looks like I'm heading down to pick her up on Tuesday.  If all goes well I'll fly her home.  The big disadvantage of going to an avionics shop 550 miles away is that it's a bit far to go back if we need to make adjustments.  I'll test fly it up to Prescott and shoot some approaches, and perhaps stick around until Wednesday to get any squawks taken care of... fingers crossed it's all perfect... it certainly looks perfect!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Wow, it's really coming along.  It looks amazing.  What a difference!  Can you tell I'm fired up?? ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Panel Progress

The panel is progressing nicely, everything fits well in the frame and it looks good.  I'm having the frame for the avionics powder coated to match the same light tan (Beech) color as the panel, figuring the black from the avionics will give enough of a contrast.  Also on Russ's suggestion I'm having the front of the radio trays sprayed black to hide the aluminum color from showing around the edge.